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American Indian Bhatia fourth as Finau wins in Mexico

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Khel Today Bureau 

VALLARTA, Mexico: Tony Finau grabbed his fourth win in last 18 starts and in the process beat the World No. 1 Jon Rahm, who was also the defending champion at the Mexico Open at Vidanta.

American Indian Akshay Bhatia, the 21-year-old who has special temporary membership, faded to a 70 and finished fourth. Bhatia, who needs a win to qualify for the FedEx Cup is, however, expected to earn a full card for 2024.

India’s Arjun Atwal missed the cut earlier on.

Finau’s win made up for his second place finish at the same event last year when Rahm won it.

Finau started the final round with a two-shot lead and was never in danger.

He closed with a bogey-free round of 5-under 66 that gave him a three-shot victory in the Mexico Open at Vidanta.

Brandon Wu, who was also a joint second last year, holed a 45-foot eagle putt on the par-5 sixth hole and made a short birdie on the next hole to briefly tie for the lead.

Then Wu fell back with a bogey from the bunker on No. 8 and a tee shot into the water on the 10th that led to double bogey. Wu (68) finished third.

Rahm closed with a 67 and had his chances. He was three behind Finau at the turn, but the Spaniard failed to birdie two of the par 5s.

Finau now has two victories this season — his other was in the Houston Open last fall — to join Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Max Homa as the only multiple winners on TOUR this season.

Finau’s sixth career PGA TOUR victory was worth $1,386,000.

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